Rushbanks Farm Campsite

UK England East Anglia Suffolk Sudbury

Riverside camping and bell tents in Constable's countryside, right in the heart of Suffolk's Dedham Vale

Flatford Mill, famously pictured in John Constable’s The Hay Wain, may be 15 miles away but you could well expect it to be a mere 15 yards away if you come to Rushbanks Farm Campsite. The place has all the hallmarks of a Constable oil painting. The River Stour edges the grassland of the camping meadow, almost stationary it’s so slow; fat lily pads pepper along its edges and tall native trees tower along the opposite bank. There are no horses or carts, of course, and the odd campervan slightly modernises the scene. But the beauty of this campsite is that really it’s left entirely untouched – a timeless slice of countryside where you can camp with minimal fuss (particularly if you opt for one of the riverside bell tents).

Opened in the 1950’s and now run by the third generation of the Bates family, Rushbanks is the only campsite directly on the banks of the River Stour. Along with its painting-worthy aesthetics it also has some features that make it an easy choice for a Cool Camping recommendation. There’s a thoroughly laid-back atmosphere, campfires are permitted (firepits provided for the bell tents) and the local pub is not only within walking distance but also within paddling distance, with canoes available to rent for gliding the scenic two mile route.

For urban amenities it’s a 20-minute drive into Colchester town centre, but naturally it’s the rural charm of Dedham Vale that’s most appealing. The 15th century buildings in nearby Nayland, the thatched roofs in medieval Lavenham or visits to Kentwell Hall, where actors recreate Tudor scenes, all play on the timeless appearance of the surrounding countryside. It’s difficult to find a more charming riverside campsite in the UK.

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Video Tour

The Owner Says

Rushbanks Farm is set in the heart of Dedham Vale, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The region was immortalised by the famous paintings of John Constable, and is thus known as ‘Constable Country.` Rushbanks Farm is the only official site on the banks of the River Stour, close to the charming Suffolk village of Nayland which is characterised by picturesque 15th century buildings.

The site first opened in the 1960’s and has been in the Bates family for three generations. It is currently operated by Gareth & James Bates who will be pleased to see you down there on-site.

Over the years the site has grown in popularity, with people returning at different times of the year to enjoy the changing colours of spring, summer and autumn.

Rushbanks Farm welcomes families who want to enjoy themselves, whilst providing many opportunities for nature lovers and those who want to explore the great outdoors – or others who just want to relax, and wind down around a campfire under the stars at night. We hope to see you soon!

Reader Reviews

Add Your Review

Great location

Camped at Rushbanks Farm for a first time at a May bank holiday weekend. A really good location, great family friendly campsite, but I was bit disappointed with the facilities. In particular the portable showers, I tried 2 times but didn’t get any hot water. Also there are only 2 places for washing dishes so at peak times you ended up queuing. The only sinks were in toilets cubicles, not always pleasant to brush teeth. The campsite could do with some facilities upgrade!
Jun 12, 2019 by Hanka M

Idyllic spit and friendly staff

We had two nights on the site and we really enjoyed it. We hired a canoe and paddled to the pub with our boys (3/6yrs) who loved it! We would come again! Thank you!
Jun 2, 2019 by Rebecca

Stunning riverside location

Campsite has a fantastic location down on the river in a really beautiful setting. Lots of flexibility of where to pitch too. Toilets are clean but portable showers were the only downside (although were lovely and hot!). Really friendly and helpful staff and the canoe hire was brilliant and some lovely local walks. Would definitely go again.
May 30, 2019 by Happy Campers

Return visit was everything we expected.

Toilets - exceptional! This campsite is kept immaculate Friendly staff, willing to help. All needs catered for. Shower was really clean and powerful however cooler than hoped. Thanks to the staff and we will see you again next year.
May 19, 2019 by T Ellwood
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